It had been two years since Capital Health, a two-hospital health system, had a vice president of quality. Like many other companies today, the system decided to use a matrix model to manage the function, with several different leaders and all Capital Health employees sharing responsibility for maintaining quality.
While using this matrix approach, the health system realized they were potentially heading toward a “1 star” rating. “Additionally we were not seeing improvement in VBP initiatives. We knew we had to do something!” said Eileen Horton, Capital Health’s Senior Vice President at that time.
Unsure of what to do next, Capital Health partnered with Premier, Inc. to perform a gap assessment. The results were clear — Capital Health needed to quickly reinstate the vice president of quality role. Capital Health’s leadership team wanted to take the time to find the right person, but they also knew they needed someone immediately. Again, they turned to Premier.
“To us, it only made sense; if Premier did a great job on the quality gap assessment, surely they had good people to help with interim staffing,” said Horton.
“We couldn’t have made a better decision. Premier sent us an interim quality consultant that hit the ground running,” explained Horton.
“With other consultants, they came in, told us our problems, and left. But our Premier interim consultant rolled up her sleeves and helped get the work done,” shared Horton. “The Premier interim quality consultant helped guide me, as the organizational leader, to where I needed to put my efforts. For example, we immediately implemented a quality steering committee, meeting every other week. We’re still meeting now, 15 months later.”
With Premier’s interim support and strategic quality leadership, Capital Health:
- Better aligned to meet its performance improvement needs with clarified roles and responsibilities
- Developed a revised quality dashboard to provide just-in-time information that assisted with real-time quality decision making
- Garnered support across the organization with the establishment of the quality steering committee
As a result of these changes, paired with the work of many, Capital Health improved its CMS Star ratings to “2 stars,” with a likelihood of hitting “3 stars” by the end of 2017. In addition the LeapFrog score improved from C to B at one campus and maintained a B at the other.
“We know it takes a village to change quality improvement outcomes, and that we couldn’t attribute it to one person, but Premier’s interim quality consultant was a big factor. She kept us focused. She kept us honest,” said Horton.